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Blackburn Rovers 1-1 West Bromwich Albion: Baggies drop points in promotion race

Filip Krovinovic
Filip Krovinovic (right) is on a season-long loan at West Brom from Portuguese club Benfica

West Bromwich Albion dropped two points in their quest for an automatic Championship promotion place as they were held to a draw by former boss Tony Mowbray's Blackburn Rovers.

The Baggies' failure to make it four straight wins means they stay second, still behind leaders Leeds United on goal difference.

But third-placed Brentford's earlier win at Derby narrows that gap to only three points.

Joe Rothwell's second-half equaliser earned play-off hopefuls Rovers a deserved share of the spoils after Filip Krovinovic had put Albion ahead.

But Rovers wasted two great chances to win it - and are now four points off a play-off place.

Albion waste chance to stretch clear

Albion went ahead on 41 minutes when top scorer Charlie Austin picked out Krovinovic with a far-post cross and the Croatian midfielder found the bottom-left corner from 12 yards.

It was a third goal for Albion from Krovinovic since his arrival last summer - and all of them have come on the road.

Having scored four minutes before the interval, he should then have done so again four minutes after the restart, but when Mateus Pereira shot from range and Christian Walton could only parry, Krovinovic hit the right post with the rebound.

It took a quadruple substitution by Mowbray to turn the game Rovers' way as two of the replacements combined to level within two minutes of coming on.

Former Birmingham City loan forward Sam Gallagher galloped down the right, and outmuscled Kyle Bartley before pulling it back and the untracked Rothwell drilled home from 12 yards.

Albion's own newly-arrived subs nearly put their team back in front when, from the artful Pereira's lovely chipped ball over the top, Hal Robson-Kanu squared left to Grady Diangana, but he missed his kick.

And it was Rovers who came closest to snatching all three points.

West Brom needed a point-blank save by advancing keeper Sam Johnstone to deny the fifth of Mowbray's subs, Jacob Davenport.

Then, in a crazy scramble crying out for a show of composure, Albion were finally rescued when Bartley cleared off the line from another of the Blackburn 'game changers', Lewis Holtby.

Albion boss Slaven Bilic was unable to expand afterwards on a late touchline incident involving Blackburn defender Darragh Lenihan that not only ignored social distancing conventions, but ended up with both their names in referee Jarred Gillett's notebook.

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What's the next twist in the drama?

Albion's next concern is how Leeds United - in mourning following the death of club legend Jack Charlton - fare in the Sunday lunchtime clash at Swansea.

Leeds could go three points clear if they win - but defeat could drop them back to second, on goal difference.

On Tuesday, Albion host fourth-placed Fulham, who have won their last four games and would climb within two points of the Baggies if they win.

Blackburn are also in action that night at another of the play-off contenders, Millwall.

But, if Albion were to lose to Fulham on Tuesday, that would allow Brentford the chance to go second if they could win at home to Preston the following night.

Blackburn Rovers boss Tony Mowbray told BBC Radio Lancashire:

"It's frustrating that we didn't get all three points but they're a very good side and we acknowledge that they had good chances first half and could have been two goals in front. Although we're disappointed about their goal as he looked a yard offside to me.

"There's a reason why they're at the top of the table with Leeds. They have very experienced, high quality players who pick the right pass.

"But we put in a fantastic effort and we had some unbelievable chances in the second half, one-on-ones that should be going in the net.

"We had to make changes as they were on top. But we gambled, played with two No 10s, it took them by surprise. And it paid off."

West Bromwich Albion head coach Slaven Bilic told BBC Radio WM:

"The mood is very low. We came here to win, to keep the gap as it was, but one point is better than nothing. Now we have to be ready for Fulham on Tuesday.

"(Brentford's result) put more pressure on us, of course. But we have to worry about our own results. The end product was missing.

"We have to kill the game off. Unfortunately we didn't. We have to take our chances. We created so many. Four or five big chances. But you know what happens if you don't take them.

"They got fresh legs. And, at the end, we needed Sam Johnstone to make a couple of great saves."

Line-ups

Blackburn

  • 1Walton
  • 2NyambeSubstituted forBennettat 61'minutes
  • 26LenihanBooked at 90mins
  • 24Adarabioyo
  • 37Rankin-Costello
  • 27TravisBooked at 72mins
  • 19DowningSubstituted forDavenportat 75'minutes
  • 4JohnsonSubstituted forGallagherat 61'minutes
  • 12SamuelSubstituted forRothwellat 61'minutes
  • 10Graham
  • 7ArmstrongSubstituted forHoltbyat 61'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Rothwell
  • 9Gallagher
  • 13Leutwiler
  • 14Mulgrew
  • 18Davenport
  • 22Holtby
  • 31Bennett
  • 39Buckley
  • 41Carter

West Brom

  • 1Johnstone
  • 27O'Shea
  • 6AjayiBooked at 90mins
  • 5Bartley
  • 14Townsend
  • 8LivermoreBooked at 31minsSubstituted forHarperat 68'minutes
  • 19Sawyers
  • 12Costa Pereira
  • 7KrovinovicSubstituted forRobinsonat 80'minutes
  • 13GrosickiSubstituted forDianganaat 60'minutes
  • 15AustinSubstituted forRobson-Kanuat 59'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Furlong
  • 4Robson-Kanu
  • 10Phillips
  • 11Brunt
  • 16Harper
  • 23Bond
  • 26Hegazi
  • 29Diangana
  • 47Robinson
Referee:
Jarred Gillett

Match Stats

Home TeamBlackburnAway TeamWest Brom
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home7
Away18
Shots on Target
Home4
Away8
Corners
Home3
Away7
Fouls
Home14
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Blackburn Rovers 1, West Bromwich Albion 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Blackburn Rovers 1, West Bromwich Albion 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Grady Diangana (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Lewis Travis (Blackburn Rovers).

  5. Post update

    Romaine Sawyers (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Booking

    Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card.

  7. Booking

    Semi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  8. Post update

    Joe Rothwell (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Semi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion).

  10. Post update

    Offside, Blackburn Rovers. Joe Rothwell tries a through ball, but Danny Graham is caught offside.

  11. Post update

    Lewis Holtby (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Romaine Sawyers (West Bromwich Albion).

  13. Post update

    Foul by Jacob Davenport (Blackburn Rovers).

  14. Post update

    Rekeem Harper (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Lewis Travis (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Rekeem Harper (West Bromwich Albion).

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Lewis Holtby (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Joe Rothwell.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Sam Johnstone.

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jacob Davenport (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Sam Gallagher.

  20. Post update

    Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Darragh Lenihan.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leeds42249968343481
2West Brom432215674413381
3Brentford432391178354378
4Fulham4322101158441476
5Nottm Forest4318151055431269
6Cardiff431616116056464
7Swansea421615115549663
8Preston431711155652462
9Millwall431517114946362
10Derby431613145758-161
11Bristol City431710165862-461
12Blackburn431612156056460
13Reading431511175448656
14Sheff Wed431510185459-555
15Wigan431412174653-754
16QPR43158206070-1053
17Birmingham421213175267-1549
18Middlesbrough431114184356-1347
19Huddersfield431211204965-1647
20Charlton431210214758-1146
21Stoke42137225466-1246
22Hull43129225775-1845
23Luton43128234979-3044
24Barnsley431013204667-2143
View full Championship table

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